Archive for August 3, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iOS Background App Kludge

iOS 4 includes seven multitasking services, but none of them are conducive to running a utility service in the background. An application can run in the background to get updates from the GPS, but Apple won’t allow it to run in the background to get updates from IM, Twitter, or a mail server. (Apple’s own Mail app is exempt from this rule, of course.)

The developers of Pastebot wanted to run their app in the background to listen for updates from their companion Mac utility. Their solution is to use the multitasking service that lets apps play music in the background (via John Gruber). They thoughtfully included a silent audio clip so that this kludge would be invisible to the user and not drain the battery. Apple rejected the app, saying that the music must be audible.

So, instead, you must create or buy a silent audio clip, put it in iTunes, sync it to your iPhone, and select it in Pastebot’s settings, all to work around Apple’s decision to forbid normal background processing. This makes the app more difficult to use and wastes the time of both the developers and the users.

Apple Removes Antenna Videos

Eliot Van Buskirk:

Apple deleted videos depicting the signal loss of the iPhone 4 and other smartphones from the U.S. and Asian versions of its website, after Wired.com (and others) criticized the way videos confused a reception issue associated with the iPhone 4’s external antenna design with a general absorption problem suffered by all radio devices.

The new page talks about Apple’s testing process and labs. I suppose the idea is to convince people that there is no reception issue compared with other phones. But if you’re already seeing it with your own eyes and ears, this is questionable logic. The message starts to look like, Apple did all this testing so they must have known about the problem. Or, how did their $100 million lab miss detecting something that ordinary users found right away?